MY HORSE ALREADY HAS A VETERINARIAN, DENTIST, FARRIER AND CHIROPRACTOR!
Great! Equine massage therapy (EMT) is an additional aspect of your horse’s overall health that has its own specific benefits for health, recovery, and performance. I strive to be a member of your team and my skills combine with those of others to give your horse the best care possible. After all, a horse’s body is 60% muscle – everything a horse does, from grazing in the pasture to barrel racing or dressage, depends on its muscular health and that is what my work focuses on.
HOW DO I KNOW MY HORSE NEEDS MASSAGE?
Therapeutic massage is always beneficial. That said, equine athletes who are working hard and/or competing benefit from equine massage therapy (EMT) before and after training and competition and their sessions are best if they are frequent. This addresses not only maintaining performance levels but keeping the horse as healthy as possible. Horses at leisure do not need to be seen as often, and often owners can tell when they are ready for more therapy (it is often monthly). Horses recovering from illness or injury can benefit greatly from the various effects of EMT, please see the information page for more detailed information. Horses with histories of trauma may struggle a bit with massage at first but I have found that they particularly benefit not only from the physical healing massage provides but the stress reduction and relaxation created can be very powerful for them as well.
HOW WILL MY HORSE RESPOND TO THE FIRST MASSAGE?
A horse’s responses to first massage can be varied and interesting. Some horses relax quickly after initial curiosity about what they are experiencing. Others may have body areas that are “touch shy” or in pain and need some time to adjust. Horses who have histories of trauma might react defensively at first. After the initial massage experience horses often enjoy further massage and relax quickly. Some even fall asleep.
ARE THERE HORSES YOU WON’T WORK ON?
While massage therapy is helpful to all horses it is not suitable in certain circumstances. Massage therapy never substitutes for veterinary care and if your horse is ill or injured veterinary intervention is advised. For example, massage therapy is contraindicated if your horse has a fever or is in shock, has an infectious skin condition, or certain forms of cancer. Veterinary guidance will be requested if your mare is pregnant, esp. in early and late stages of pregnancy. As a massage therapist I strive to be part of your horse’s care team and work collaboratively with veterinarians and other practitioners.
WILL YOU COME AND WORK ON MY HORSE’S SORE HIP?
I’d be honored to. I will work on the hip as part of a whole body massage sequence. The therapeutic effects of EMT result from the body being treated in entirety even if one area is particularly problematic. Soreness in one area often brings tension in many others. Addressing only one area is not helpful. You might even notice the hip troubles improving long before I get to work on the hip itself. It is not uncommon to see that releasing tightness in the front end results in a decrease of tension in the hind. Please know that the massage sequence was developed to obtain the best possible outcome for all sorts of various problems.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
I have long had an interest in health and performance, from many years of athletic competition and my career as a physical therapist with a special interest in sports medicine (I have a degree from Cleveland State University). My interest in equine massage began when I rescued my first horse nearly 10 years ago. He had many challenges and I studied various books on massage and did what I could to facilitate his healing (he went from facing death due to lameness to happily jumping fences again). I realized then that I wanted to become a serious student of equine massage and gained my certification as a CEMT from Brandenburg Massage Therapy, a challenging, well-renowned program wherein I gained the skills to trust that every horse I touch will benefit from my expertise. This has now become my primary career and I couldn’t be happier.
GREAT ABOUT THE MASSAGE INFO, BUT I’M BROKE…
I own horses, I’ve been broke too! Contact me and let’s see what we can work out. It is my intention to be accessible to as many horses as I can be. I will reduce rates for rescued horses, they have a special place in my heart. If you are not broke, I will gratefully accept donations to cover costs to provide massage to horses in rescue shelters. Every horse matters, let’s see what we can do…